AP Psychology Practice Test: Abnormal Behavior

This AP Psychology practice test covers abnormal behavior and the treatment of abnormal behavior. For this section of the AP Psychology course you will need to know definitions of abnormality and theories of psychopathology. There will also be questions on the primary types of disorders and the various approaches to treatment. Test your knowledge now with our free abnormal psychology quiz.


Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
According to the biological perspective, psychological disorders result from:

A
Traumatic childhood experiences
B
Lack of positive self-regard
C
Distorted thinking
D
Dysfunctional societal views
E
Brain abnormalities
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). The biological perspective focuses on the chemical and physical, or biological explanations for human behavior. Those utilizing the biological perspective investigate the links between physiological factors and an organism’s psychology. Consequently, a biopsychologist is likely to attribute a psychological disorder’s cause to be rooted in a chemical or physical abnormality.
Question 2
What kind of psychologist would be most likely to describe depression as the result of an unconscious process in which anger is turned inward, likely due to repression?

A
Biomedical
B
Cognitive
C
Behavioral
D
Psychoanalytic
E
Sociocultural
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Psychodynamic (or psychoanalytic) psychologists view depression and other mental diseases resulting from the unconscious activity of the mind.
Question 3
During the manic phase of a bipolar disorder, individuals are most likely to experience:

A
visual or auditory hallucinations.
B
high self-esteem.
C
schizophrenia.
D
delusions of persecution.
E
uncontrollable grief and despair.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The manic phase of bipolar disorder is marked by emotional highs, excessive energy, restlessness, and other erratic behavior. High self-esteem is in line with the extremely positive self-perception that a person experiencing mania exhibits. None of the other answer choices are exhibited during the manic phase.
Question 4
Which of the following is considered to be a psychotic disorder?

A
antisocial personality disorder
B
dissociative identity disorder
C
post-traumatic stress disorder
D
obsessive-compulsive disorder
E
schizophrenia
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Psychotic disorders are those marked by abnormal thought patterns and perceptions. People suffering from psychotic disorders often experience auditory and visual hallucinations or extreme paranoia. Schizophrenia is a disease that falls under this description. Those suffering from schizophrenia abnormally interpret reality.
Question 5
An antisocial personality disorder is most likely to be characterized by:

A
a lack of feelings of guilt.
B
a persistent, irrational fear of people.
C
delusions of grandeur.
D
disruptions in conscious awareness and sense of identity.
E
episodes of intense autonomic nervous system arousal.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Antisocial personality disorder is most commonly linked with a lack of empathy, compassion, or feeling for other people. Those suffering from antisocial personality disorder exhibit a long term pattern of disregard for other peoples’ feelings and well-being.
Question 6
What are obsessions?

A
False beliefs of persecution of grandeur.
B
Hyperactive, wildly optimistic states of emotion.
C
Offensive and unwanted thoughts that persistently preoccupy a person.
D
Periodic episodes of intense dread accompanied by frightening physical sensations.
E
Persistent, irrational fears of specific objects or situations.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). An obsession is the inability of a person to stop thinking about a particular topic or to stop feeling a certain emotion without experiencing a high amount of anxiety as a result.
Question 7
For which of the following would the DSM-IV be most useful?

A
Kim is excessively introverted.
B
Denise is chronically depressed.
C
John is insane.
D
Tyson is extremely irrational.
E
Tony is shy.
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The DSM is used by health care professionals in the US as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. The DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. The only mental disorder in this example is in reference to Denise and chronic depression.
Question 8
People with a narcissistic personality disorder are likely to be preoccupied with:

A
an irrational fear of people
B
delusions of persecution
C
physical symptoms of distress
D
sexual fantasies
E
their own self-importance
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.
Question 9
Leslie, a teacher, complains that she feels apprehensive and fearful most of the time but doesn’t know why. Without warning, her heart begins to pound, her hands get icy, and she breaks out in a cold sweat. What psychological disorder does Leslie likely suffer from?

A
dissociative disorder
B
dysthymic disorder
C
generalized anxiety disorder
D
obsessive-compulsive disorder
E
phobia
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is characterized as excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about routine life events with no apparent reasons for worry. People with symptoms of GAD tend to always expect disaster and cannot stop worrying about health, family, money, work, or school.
Question 10
Which category of psychological disorders is the most common in the United States?

A
Delusional disorders
B
Mood disorders
C
Schizophrenic disorders
D
Sexual disorders
E
Somatoform disorders
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Mood disorders are so common in the United States that they are often referred to as the “common cold” of psychological disorders.
Question 11
Lula Cook’s husband, Peter, went on a work trip and never returned home. Lula and her children presumed him to be dead. Years later, while on a road trip in another state, a real estate billboard caught Lula’s eye—because it was her husband, now with a new life and a new family! Peter’s symptoms and behavior would suggest what psychological occurrence?

A
Dissociative fugue
B
Dissociative identity disorder
C
Escapism
D
Learned helplessness
E
Schizophrenia
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Dissociative fugue is an episode of amnesia in which a person is unable to recall some or all of one’s past. This amnesia results in either the loss of one’s identity or the formation of a new identity and typically occurs with a sudden, unexpected purposeful travel away from home without any other noticeable signs of illness.
Question 12
Edward is an institutionalized mental patient who believes that people are out to get him and that the President communicates directly with him via the ketchup bottle on the dinner table. Edward is demonstrating what psychological symptom?

A
Anxiety
B
Depression
C
Dissociative disorder
D
Manic episodes
E
Paranoia
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). This is an extreme, psychotic-level example of paranoia. In more common forms, an individual may think that people are talking about them whenever they walk into a room.
Question 13
The DSM-IV-TR classification of psychological disorders does not consider which of the following to be a disorder?

A
Anorexia nervosa
B
Depression
C
Dissociative Identity Disorder
D
Homosexuality
E
Schizophrenia
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The latest edition of the DSM does not consider homosexuality to be a psychological disorder.
Question 14
Which of the following fears or phobias is considered to be the most common in the United States?

A
Blood
B
Enclosed spaces
C
Heights
D
Intimacy
E
Open spaces
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). A fear of heights is the most widespread specific fear in the United States.
Question 15
Hugh has returned from a 6-month deployment in Afghanistan. He now hits the ground at the sight of an airplane or helicopter, jumps at the sound of a firecracker, and has vivid nightmares that haunt him in his sleep. Which psychological disorder does he likely suffer from?

A
Delusions of Persecution
B
Dissociative Identity Disorder
C
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
D
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
E
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). When a person has experienced a highly traumatic event (like rape or combat), there is a strong likelihood that the person will relive the event trauma and avoid anything or anyone who reminds them of the trauma. This disorder can result in extreme responses to any stimulus that is reminiscent of the traumatic event.
Question 16
Someone diagnosed as agoraphobic would most likely be:

A
Afraid of being trapped in an enclosed space
B
Afraid of learning
C
Afraid of public places
D
Demonstrating delusions of grandeur
E
Starving themselves because they have a distorted body image
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Agoraphobia is characterized by fear and even panic at the prospect of leaving the home alone and being in a public place.
Question 17
Which of the following is true of schizophrenia?

A
It affects men more frequently than women.
B
It is a component of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
C
It is caused by an increase in serotonin to the brain.
D
It is more prevalent among the wealthy than the poor.
E
It typically becomes apparent in early adulthood.
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Schizophrenia typically becomes apparent in early adulthood, with an average age of onset of 21 among men and 27 among women.
Question 18
Rod was a boxer, routinely taking punches to his head and body. One day, he was punched over his right eye, and he indicated immediately afterward that he was blind. Doctors in the hospital indicated no physiological cause for the blindness. This may be a case of what psychological disorder?

A
Anxiety Disorder
B
Conversion Disorder
C
Paranoid schizophrenia
D
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
E
Traumatic Brain Injury
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). When the boxer’s head was hit and he couldn’t see, it was a conversion reaction with no physiological foundation.
Question 19
David counts the cracks in the sidewalk while he walks to work from his subway stop. As he sees the front door of his office, he fears he has miscounted and must return to the subway stop to get an accurate count before beginning his day. What psychological disorder is this behavior exemplifying?

A
Agoraphobia
B
Conversion disorder
C
Hypochondriasis
D
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
E
Schizophrenia
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). This behavior is highly representative of obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD commonly results in unreasonable thoughts and behaviors that lead to repetitive actions called compulsions. Counting steps, in the example provided, is indicative of such a compulsion.
Question 20
DSM-IV-TR refer to:

A
Developmental and Social Expectations for Mental Development, Text Revision, 4th edition
B
Developmental and Statistical Model for Mental Disorders, Text Revision, 4th edition
C
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision, 4th edition
D
Dietary and Statistical Model for Avoidance of Mental Defects, Text Revision, 4th edition
E
Drug and Shock for Mental Disorders, Text Revision, 4th edition
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). DSM-IV-TR refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision, 4th edition.
Question 21
Axis I of DSM-IV-TR contains:

A
Defined criteria for each psychological disorder.
B
Family history
C
General medical condition that may not be related to a psychological disorder
D
General score of functioning on a scale of 0-100
E
Social or environmental problems present
Question 21 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). DSM-IV-TR contains the defined criteria for all psychological disorders.
Question 22
Daniel lied, stole, fought, and conned people throughout his life. Further, he felt no guilt for his actions, even as he ruined the lives of those closest to him. He likely would be diagnosed with which personality disorder?

A
Antisocial
B
Borderline
C
Catatonic
D
Domineering
E
Histrionic
Question 22 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Lying, cheating, conning, or killing without any sense of guilt or remorse is indicative of antisocial personality disorder.
Question 23
Archaeologists and anthropologists have found evidence that prehistoric man may have used what to treat perceived mental disorders?

A
Corpus callosum removal
B
Nothing – they were ostracized from society and left for dead
C
Religious rituals
D
Trephining
E
Walking on hot coals
Question 23 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Evidence suggests that trephining (drilling holes in the skull) may have been used to release the “evil spirits” that prehistoric man believed to be the cause of mental disorders.
Question 24
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is classified as which type of disorder?

A
Anxiety
B
Conversion
C
Dissociative
D
Mood
E
Undifferentiated
Question 24 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder. It involves direct personal experience of an event involving actual or threatened death or serious injury; threat to the physical integrity of another; or learning about the violent death of a family member or friend. Symptoms of PTSD closely align with those of anxiety disorders.
Question 25
Generalized anxiety disorders:

A
Are synonymous with phobias.
B
Are much less debilitating than phobias.
C
Can be easily and quickly treated.
D
Have no specific external cause.
E
Typically begin due to a tragic event.
Question 25 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Generalized anxiety disorders—unlike phobias—have no specific cause.
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 25 questions to complete.
List
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
678910
1112131415
1617181920
2122232425
End
Return

 

Next Practice Test:
Social Psychology >>
AP Psychology Main Menu >>